Buffalo falls to Georgetown after surprising comeback

GEORGETOWN, ON - Mar 19 : OJHL South West Conference playoff series round two, Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. Georgetown Raiders, Ryan Schmelzer #10 of the Buffalo Junior Sabres tries to screen Michael McNiven #30 of the Georgetown Raiders during second period game action. (Photo by Brian Watts / OJHL Images)

GEORGETOWN, ON – Undaunted by a three-goal deficit, the Georgetown Raiders battled back to claim a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Jr. Sabres in Game Four of their Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff series.

With the win, the Raiders took a three games to one lead in the series and can eliminate the Jr. Sabres on Saturday at the Northtown Center at Amherst.

Georgetown let multiple leads slip away before eventually digging out of a three hole to pick up the win. The Raiders took a 1-0 advantage on a goal by Anthony Marra at 27 seconds in the first period. Georgetown found itself down 4-1 after Buffalo’s Nolan Sheeran put the puck home at 9:34 in the second period. After evening things up at 4-4 on a goal by Steve Hladin at 9:06 in the third, the Raiders got the game-winner from Steve Midensky at 15:03 in the third period.

Marra had two goals and two assists to lead Georgetown.

The Raiders stifled Buffalo’s power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. The Jr. Sabres were unable to stop Georgetown from sending pucks towards the net, and the Raiders eventually piled up 41 shots on goal.

Georgetown additionally got points from Hladin, who also racked up one goal and four assists to lead the team in points. Others who scored for Georgetown included Adam Mascherin and Brendan Jacome, who scored one goal each. In addition, Georgetown received assists from Liam Clare, who had three and Ryan SmithLiam Board, and Steven Mueller, who contributed one each.

Buffalo’s offense rang up 32 shots on Georgetown’s net.

The Jr. Sabres were helped by Nick Smith, who had one goal. Smith scored 5:59 into the first period to make the score 1-1. Josh Gabriel assisted on the tally. Buffalo also had goals scored by Michael Ederer and Tim Kielich, who each put in one. More assists for Buffalo came via Darren McCormickDaniel LafontaineRyan SchmelzerColin FarrellMax MikowskiBen Casale, and Pat Egan, who each chipped in one.

The Raiders’ Michael McNiven stopped 28 shots out of the 32 that he faced. Georgetown incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors. Joseph Pianta rejected 35 shots on goal for Buffalo. The Jr. Sabres incurred eight minutes in penalty time with four minors.

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Photo: Jr. Sabres team captain Ryan Schmelzer tries to screen Georgetown Raider goaltender Michael McNiven during the second period of Game Four. Photo by Brian Watts, OJHL Images.